Crows out to halt Carlton top-four push

·2-min read

Carlton could end the weekend inside the AFL's top four if they take care of business in an away trip to Adelaide.

They might sit seventh but the log-jammed finals picture means winning on the road against the lowly Crows could prove vital to their double-chance quest, able to scale the ladder considerably should results go their way.

Even injury news is going the Blues' way ahead of the match-up at Adelaide Oval on Saturday night.

They will bring back ruckman Marc Pittonet for the first time since round six, while the Crows lose inspirational defender Tom Doedee.

Adelaide coach Matthew Nicks admitted the time had come to rest the wounded Doedee, although he stopped short of suggesting he'd be shut down for the rest of the year.

"He's pushed through quite a substantial amount of pain over the last six-to-eight weeks," he told reporters.

"He's a leader of our footy club ... it did get to the point this week where we sat down and in the end, we helped him make that decision.

"That doesn't mean ... he doesn't come back before the end of the year, we'd like to see maybe he's right to go next week."

The Crows are now riding a four-game losing streak and Nicks was keen to ensure they didn't again fall behind early against the Blues, as they did against Sydney last weekend in copping a nine-goal first term.

"That first quarter was on their terms, and then for the remaining three, it was on our terms," he said.

"Our challenge this weekend is the same, if we allow the game to go Carlton's way, handball and possession, ball-use changing lanes, moving freely off half-back ... well, we're in a bit of trouble.

"To beat sides like Carlton, you've got to get everything right as a team, because there's so much talent across the board."

Nicks also attempted to shut down speculation he'd addressed inside midfielder Matt Crouch's future with him, reiterating he's a required player at Adelaide.

"We've got a squad of 44 players who are all super important to what we're doing, and Matty is super important to what we're doing."

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